Author: Vanessa Finney

Deer Collisions on the Rise

Big Bear City, CA, September 29, 2014 – With mountain highways running along forested areas, wildlife can sometimes be found crossing the road. Drivers are sometimes taken by surprise, and there have been several collisions this year between motorists and bear or deer on routes 18, 330 and 38. State Farm says such crashes could increase. Their latest report states that U.S. drivers are nearly 3% more likely to collide with a deer in the next 12 months than they were last year. New statistics show that the odds of a driver hitting a deer in the coming year are 1 in 169, but that likelihood more than doubles during October, November and December. Even though California is not in the top 10 states for deer collisions, in mountain areas like Big Bear (and even in hilly areas of Los Angeles) the risk almost an everyday reality. The collisions can not only fatally injure animals, they’re traumatic and costly for drivers, with insurance claims averaging nearly $4,000. In addition, 175 human deaths in 2012 were attributed to collisions with animals, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Here are some safety tips: At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams to to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways. Keep in mind that deer movement is most prevalent in the fall; dusk and dawn...

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Medicine Wheel: A Native Approach To Restoring Balance

Big Bear City, CA, September 28, 2014 – This month marked the ten-year anniversary of the Big Bear Medicine Wheel that was led by an Eastern Shoshone elder during the severe drought of 2004. At the time, local government agencies were debating cloud seeding–a method of increasing precipitation by dispersing substances such as dry ice or silver iodide crystals into the air. Some residents, however, preferred an alternative method of addressing this environmental challenge, and invited Bavado Rainbow Thunder Heart (formerly Bennie Blue Thunder Le Beau) to share techniques based on 6,000-year-old indigenous wisdom. With Big Bear as the hub of the Medicine Wheel’s nine locations in Southern California, over 200 residents participated in the final 12-hour ceremonial gathering for prayer, gratitude, intentions, song and dance. Coincidentally or not, the first major storms of the season began on the dates the Medicine Wheel training and celebration were scheduled: October 26 and November 20. Those two- and three-foot snowfalls, along with storms over the next several months, contributed to a 12-foot increase in the lake level by the spring of 2005. This year, Bavado came back to lead several ceremonies in July and September at natural landmarks in the area–some of which coincided with International Peace Day and World Gratitude Day. He and his partner Samara, a sound healer, say they will continue their work in October to help restore...

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Big Bear Expecting Tons of Snow September 27

Big Bear Lake, CA, September 26, 2014 – Right on the heels of the news of the acquisition by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Bear Mountain is having its winter kickoff party this weekend. The 11th annual Hot Dawgz & Handrails is set for Saturday, September 27 from 9 am to dark, and 40 pro snowboarders will compete for cash on 130 tons of man-made snow starting at 2 pm. The resort will take advantage of the huge anticipated crowds to unveil new urban style park features. The event is free to the public, and attendees will be entertained with DJs and music, prizes, games and giveaways, and have the chance to buy discounted season passes. The Screamin’ Deal 2014-15 pass is only available at he Bear Mountain season pass office on that day between 9 am and 6 pm. The activities: Snowboard competition featuring forty of the top jibbers in snowboarding Judges include Bear Team riders; Joe Sexton, JP Walker, Chris Bradshaw and Scott Stevens. Announcers include; Preston Strout, Adam Kisiel and John Castro The new features will be available for you to ride in the Red Bull Plaza this winter. Live Web Cast presented by Snowboarder magazine Discounts on SEASON PASSES– Season Pass office open 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Vendor Booth City open by 11 a.m.- offering games and tons of giveaways. BBQ on the 13,000 square foot...

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Local Man Reported Missing

September 26, 2014, Big Bear Lake, CA – The Big Bear Sheriff’s Station is asking for the public’s help in locating a Big Bear Lake resident. Sixty-year-old Brian McCamish is described as a “voluntary missing person” and was last seen in the City of Big Bear Lake on September 19. It’s not known if he’s currently in the area, but anyone who has information on his whereabouts is asked to report it to the Sheriff’s Station at (909) 866-0100. McCamish is a 165-lb., 6’3″ white male, with short blond hair, blue eyes, and burn scars on his face. He may be wearing prescription eyeglasses with dark...

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Replace the Shake: New Funds Available To Bring Roofs Into Compliance

Big Bear Lake, CA, September 26, 2014 – We hear a lot about maintaining “defensible space” around our mountain homes for fire protection–and rightly so–but it’s only part of the picture. Besides the presence of burnable vegetation immediately adjacent to buildings, the ignitability of a home also depends on its roofing materials. In one study, the Stanford Research Institute found that 95 percent of homes with both nonflammable roofs and adequate vegetation clearance survived a wildfire. In 2008, the City of Big Bear Lake declared that any structure with a wood shake or shingle roof would be considered a public nuisance. Replacing wooden roofs is expensive, but federal and state grants helped local property owners reduce the number of dangerous buildings from 525 to just 73 by last year. Earlier this year, the California Office of Emergency Services notified City officials that an additional $150,000 would be available to help the remaining property owners take this important safety measure. On September 22, the Big Bear Lake City Council and the Fire Protection District worked out the details: All eligible property owners will be contacted by phone then mailed a certified letter containing a new grant application that states the offer and limitations; The homeowners will then have four weeks to apply for the grant funds; and The funds will be equally distributed to the eligible applicants who apply Any questions...

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The Local Buzz

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